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Prime Minister Intends to Use Biometrics in the 2022 Elections

To help with the upcoming 2022 national elections, Prime Minister James Marape said that the government intends to use the biometric voting system. According to him, This same system had been used in different recent elections such as the Goroka Open by-election, the Kupiano ward by-election, Abau, Central, the local level government by-election for the Poreporena ward in the Motu Koitabu Assembly.

He said in a statement, “We have seen that it (biometric voting system) was very successful. We will trial it out again and get it on a larger scale in the 2022 national elections.”

Marape added that trialling this system in the elections was his way of guaranteeing fairer and efficient voting. He said that there have been other features such as separate voting booths for men and women and cameras at polling stations have already been trials and these features would be applied during the upcoming elections.

“The general environment in Goroka was very fair to everyone,” he said. “We trailed for two polling booths for males and females. This is our effort for fairer voting for everyone to make their own choice.”

Marape said that through adequate funding in the budget next year, the Electoral Commission Is well-prepared for the elections. In addition, he said that the government is considering unifying all national election cards and common roll updates to help with the electoral process.

“It is 18 months away but we will allocate some money in the 2021 national budget to tidy up preparations for the 2022 national elections,” he said. “We want to have cameras at polling booths just like the Goroka by-election and so in 2022 we want to improve on what happened in 2017.”

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